Are you looking for a way to reinvigorate your PTA membership campaign? Consider starting a membership incentive program! It can be launched anytime during the year, often serves as the “tipping point” for folks who’ve been on the fence about joining, and can grab the attention of a whole new audience.
Above all, it’s important to understand the distinctions between a PTA membership contest, drawing, and incentive program. All three can be effective methods for recruiting members, but it’s the incentive program that’s often overlooked despite having the most potential to grow your PTA.
Many PTAs will run a membership contest in which classrooms (or grades, floors, homerooms, etc.) compete against one another to see which one can generate the most PTA memberships by a given date. The classroom with the best result by the deadline is crowned the contest winner and receives a highly desirable prize. It’s also popular for PTAs to hold a membership drawing, where all current PTA members are entered into a drawing and one of them is randomly selected to win a prize. A drawing uses the desire to win a prize and the urgency of a deadline to entice folks to sign up. For both contests and drawings, everyone wants to win the prize, but most people will go home empty-handed.
That’s where an incentive program makes all the difference. A membership incentive program rewards every person or group that achieves a predetermined goal.
You can set up a program to motivate many different types of audiences to join your PTA (such as staff members, grandparents, community members, dads, etc.). Classroom rewards can be anything from an ice cream “party” to an extra recess. Administrators often prefer an incentive program as it’s less about competition and more about the ability of everyone to excel. Added bonus: there’s no need to set a deadline. Classrooms can generate memberships all year long.
1. Figure out what incentive will motivate your target audience.
2. Get appropriate approvals beforehand.
3. Spell out the rules.
4. Launch the program.